Kids will have to face the death of close friends and relatives at some point in their lives. But, hopefully, not for a long time yet. However, if death strikes in the family, you will need to be ready to support them through this difficult time. It won’t be easy, especially if you are finding it particularly difficult to come to terms with the bereavement. To give you a guiding hand, here are my top tips for helping children deal with the death or a loved one.
Answer Their Questions
Kids usually have a lot of questions after a death, especially if they are still quite young. They will want to know more about death and why their close friend or relative passed away. It is important to always answer their questions, even the most difficult ones. If you don’t know an answer, tell them. Let them know that it is a tricky subject and even adults don’t understand everything about what happens after we die or why some people die.
Give Them Plenty To Do
Don’t just stop going through life because you are overcome with grief. You should try and continue with your life as normally as possible, for the sake of your child. Make sure they have plenty of activities and things to keep them occupied. This can help to take their mind off the pain and sadness, even if it’s only for a very short time.
Remember The Person Who Died
Talking about the deceased is all part of the healing process. You should remember all the good times you had together. Sit down with your child and ask them about how they are currently feeling. You should also ask about their memories of their loved one. By sharing stories of the deceased together, you can remember all the happy times you had together. This is a great way to join together as a family to pull through a rough time together.
Understand How Your Child Grieves
You and your child might grieve in completely different ways. You might find that crying helps work through your sadness while your child might not even shed one tear. No matter what happens, don’t try and tell your child how they should be grieving. They need to figure out their own process that suits them. Likewise, don’t expect anyone to tell you how you should work through your grief and sadness.
Create A Memorial
There are lots of ways you can commemorate the death of a loved one. Some companies specialize in making diamonds from ashes. These can be used in jewelry or ornaments. You might also like to collect all your photos of the deceased person and create a collage that you can hang on your wall. Ask your child how they would like to commemorate the death. It is important to involve them as much as possible in helping them grieve.
Work together as a family to help each other come to terms with the death. Eventually, you will all find it easier to live with the grief.